Junk Food Controversy –
It comes as no surprise that Junk food is harmful. What comes under the controversial category now varies according to people’s perspective. However, the broad ingredients that push certain food products in the Junk Food category are Saturated Fats, Salt, and Sugar in excess amounts. The high level of saturated fats, salt and sugar are the culprits for many diseases and disorders, like hormonal imbalances, Diabetes type 2, thyroid problems, heart problems and more.
Bigger Problem –
The risk doesn’t end here. What comes across as even shocking news is that the covering of the Junk Food is of toxic nature. A recent survey in February revealed that most junk food covering materials contained toxic chemicals. These enter the food products and can be detrimental to the health of the people consuming such items. Greaseproof papers with more than two dozen highly fluorinated chemicals, including phase-out substances, are found which lead to developmental disorders in children, infertility and an increased risk of cancer.
The solution –
While scientists all over the globe are in a fix as to what steps can counteract this matter, the researchers from the University of Alabama and the University of Notre Dame have come up with a solution. This involves researchers to radiolabel three forms of perfluorinated and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) and track the fate of these chemicals when they enter the body. This way they can trace the harmful chemicals that enter human body via the food wrappings. PFASs (per- and polyfluoro alkyl substances), also known as PFCs, come mostly from older, recycled materials or other undetermined sources. They are estimated to cause health disorders and were profoundly used as one of the ingredients in manufacturing the junk food covering material by many popular chain restaurants.
The new technique involves replacing one of the fluorine atoms with a radio-labeled form of fluorine, fluorine-18. This form is used Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scans in hospitals. It was clinically tried in mice and the results were astounding. A majority of the chemical intake was observed in liver and stomach, followed by the femur and stomach. The uptake was found in almost all the organs and tissues, which says a lot about its absorptive properties.
The problem bigger than we think?
Not just food coverings, these chemicals are now ubiquitous, with its presence in stain-resistant products, firefighting materials, and non-stick cookware. These are items we use on a daily basis and we can now understand the extent of exposure we have to these chemicals.